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WEIGHT LOSS ISSUES

By: Dr. Sushma Shah - Naturopathic Doctor

WHAT IS OBESITY?

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey 111, one in every three Americans is obese! Obesity is defined as being 20% above the ideal weight for height. The simplest definition is an excessive amount of body fat. Even more alarming is the number of obese children, which has doubled since 1961! High sugar and fat diets, and physical inactivity are thought to be the primary causes of obesity in children.

OBESITY VS. OVERWEIGHT

  • Obesity - Excessive amount of body fat.

  • Overweight – Excess body weight relative to height.

  • Classically obesity is defined as weight greater than 20% more than the average desirable weight for men and women, and a body fat percentage greater than 30% for women and 25% for men.

Determination of body composition (some of the methods include):

  • Visual observation – endomorph vs. mesomorph vs. ectomorph

  • The endomorphs are at the greatest risk for developing obesity, mesomorphs are at a moderate risk and ectomorphs are at little or no risk.

  • Height and weight

  • Body mass index - > 27 for either sex is indicative of obesity, 24 to 27 is indicative of being over weight.

TYPES OF OBESITY

  1. Hyperplastic – increased number of fat cells throughout the body.

  2. Hypertrophic – increase in the size of each individual fat cell. Linked to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and other serious disturbances of metabolism. Usually around the waist (typically seen in males).

CAUSES OF OBESITY

  • Psychological – decreased sensitivity to internal cues of hunger.

  • Watching television! - Reduces physical activity and lowers basal/resting metabolic rate.

  • Physiological – brain serotonin levels, diet induced thermogenesis, metabolism of the fat cells, sensitivity to insulin.

  • Studies have shown that with eating diets deficient in tryptophan cause an increase in appetite, resulting in binge eating of carbohydrates.

  • Set point theory – each person has a programmed “set point” weight that is controlled by individual fat cells. When the fat cells become smaller, it sends a powerful signal to the brain to eat. The existence of this set point helps to explain why most diets do not work.

  • One can fight off the impulse to eat for only so long after which it becomes overpowering and the result is rebound overeating, leading to an increase in weight. In addition the set point is now set at a higher level, making it even more difficult to lose weight. This effect has been termed “yo-yo” eating.

  • The key to stop this increase in set point is increasing sensitivity to insulin by exercise, a specially designed diet and certain nutritional supplements.

YOUR GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS

Any successful program is consistent with the following basic foundations of good health:

  • A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE

  • A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE – WITH REGULAR EXERCISE

  • A HEALTH PROMOTING DIET

  • SUPPLEMENTARY MEASURES

  • FAD WONDER DIETS

  • There are literally hundreds of diets and diet programs that claim to be the answer to successful weight loss. Dieters are constantly bombarded with new reports of new diets, however the basic equation for weight loss never changes. In order for an individual to lose weight – energy intake must be less than energy expenditure, which is done by decreasing caloric intake or by increasing the rate at which calories are metabolized.

  • Starvation or crash diets usually result in rapid weight loss (largely muscle and water), but cause rebound weight gain. The most successful approach to weight loss is gradual weight reduction - 0.5 – 1 lb a week through adopting long standing dietary and lifestyle habits that promote health and the attainment and maintenance of ideal body weight.

SUPPLEMENTATION

The following supplements are usually used for weight loss products, however they are effective when used in certain doses with certain combinations, please do not use this as they are contraindicated for certain conditions, before starting to attempt a weight management program, please consult with your primary care physician or naturopath.

  • 5 HTP
  • Thermogenic formulas
  • Fiber supplements
  • Chromium
  • Medium chain triglycerides
  • Hydroxycitrate
  • COQ10
  • Green tea
  • Kelp
  • ALA
  • Ginger
  • Spirulina
  • Gymnema sylvestre

The information on this handout is the property of SUSHMA SHAH N.D., and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease. For any questions, or concerns, please contact me at 416 913 4325 (HEAL) or email me at info@naturesintentionsnaturopathy.com


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